“I dictate how I slice the cake I’m boss lady/ they hate how I wake and bake but stay amazing/ you couldn’t walk a quarter mile in my Jimmy Choo’s / I’m a born champion , I won’t stop / and i dont care if i win or lose /im holding onto my crown ,stay ahead and on top /single parenting /no procrastinating /i got to get up /God speed / we elevating /we celebrating / and even though we underrated, we keep the whole nation motivated and educated ”
Cleo Ice Queen first came onto the scene in 2012 with her smash hit single “Big Dreams” that featured the legendary JK. Since then she has become a house-hold name, having participated and named the eventual runner up in Big Brother Africa: The Chase. She has also done a number of endorsement deals for various products that has her on billboards and on TV screens .Cleo is a radio personality on popular Lusaka based Radio station Rock FM, she host a sports show on DSTV’s SuperSport channel called “Bola Yapa Zed” .She has hosted talent shows such as Dreams Zambia, and is involved in a number of other projects. With that being said, she has also been diligently working on her debut album, Geminice, which was released at the end of 2015.
“..Image lost in the translation, who I was and what you see, I’m a queen, I’m a mother, but I’m out here hustling …”
“Geminice” is a terrific debut album. It feels fresh, new and original. One can tell that a lot of time and effort was put into perfecting it, it was not a rush job. While the theme of the album is more fun-loving and upbeat, with party anthems like the Urban Hype featured “Turn Up” , “Addicted” and the hard hitting “Autobahn”, Cleo Ice Queen is at her best when she digs deeper on songs such as the Wezi assisted “Ninaka”. On the song she discusses her challenges in the music industry and life in general .She gets personal on this track and doesn’t hold anything back. You can feel the emotion in her raps .Wezi’s powerful vocals alone is a reason to have this song on repeat. Cleo also has uplifting songs such as “Goodbye” and describes how it feels to fall in love in “Falling” that features amazing vocals by Salma Sky.
“I’m a soldier in love with this game and I’m never gonna stop/ And this love hurts but oooh, it’s never gonna stop/ Natila ahhhwe, Ninaka”
Stand out tracks
Falling – Is a beautiful song in which she raps about falling in love and the emotions that come with it . Salma Sky was an excellent addition to this song; her vocals on the chorus and bridge are simply breathtaking. “I’m falling, every time I look into your eyes, got me mesmerized, got me hypnotized” she sings. It is the first song on the album and is a splendid way to start it off.
I don’t mind– is an infectious song that you will not be able to resist dancing to . It will definitely get you in the mood for a party. “…i just want to be with you right now, but baby I don’t wanna be a side chick, side chick. i just want to be with you right now ,I want to be the only one you ride with, ride with…” she raps.
Oxygen– Is a Shom c produced song that features her real life love interest Kaladoshas. The chemistry they have on the song is wonderful and the result is an amazing love song about how they can’t live without each other. “..You plus me makes for better mathematics, you my better half getting rid of bad habits” she raps. “..So I say this, you are the girl of my dreams / I promise / I’ll never do you wrong, girl I’ll be honest…” Kaladoshas sings.
AutoBahn– This is a tough, aggressive track where Cleo Ice Queen shows that she can rap as good, if not better than her male counterparts. “Rap god , I’m tycooning/ look at all the icey ones that I’m grooming/ fast cars we vamoosing/ off to the beach, we over there cooling/ refueling /recouping /contemplating how we looting/ me and my team on a mission for commission /reign supreme and kill the competition ” she raps . It is a song braggadocious song in which she is basically telling everyone that she is here to take over. As the saying goes, “it’s not bragging if you can back it up”.
“Got that diva mentality but a beast on the mic / I got that butterfly swag but I bring the fist to the fight…”
I would describe Geminice as an album of 2 half’s. The first 7 tracks are phenomenal. On them she talks about life, love and everything in-between in a fantastic way. The second half of the album is more up-tempo, and party oriented, but lacks the substance of the previous songs have. But that is not to say that the songs are not good, they are all major club bangers.
One song in particular I did not enjoy is “Boys talking”. I get the concept of having some of the best female rappers from all over Africa on one song (Nigerian female rapper Eva Alordiah , South African female rapper Nadia Nakai, Kenyan female rapper STL), but the outcome is cringe worthy .
Cleo ice Queen is at her best when she wears her heart on her sleeve and tells it as it is .She is multi-talented and has a super bright future ahead of her. Expect this album to get her recognition not only in Zambia but all over Africa and beyond. Geminice is the first Zambian female rap album, Cleo is opening doors for others who thought Hip-hop was only for the men. She has set the bar high for others that will follow.
“Every time I close my eyes, I see the angles come right by /every time I breath I feel alive , and I’m so grateful for my life / I see the futures looking bright / I want to dream by day and night /one day I’ll tell you about my stripes but I got the Lord to thank for life “
4 out of 5 stars
NINAKA ft Wezi
OXYGEN Ft Kaladoshas